USA Grabs Four-Nations Championship


(Photo: Melissa Kania)

The United States NTDP U-18 team won its first consecutive Four Nations title on Saturday night, defeating the Swedish team by a score of 3-1 to finish the tournament with a 3-1-0 record.

Tournament play began last Tuesday, with two games occuring between Sweden and Switzerland and the USA and Finland. Sweden defeated Switzerland in overtime by a score of 5-4, while Finland dropped a 3-1 decision to the United States. Defenseman Wilhelm Westlund and forward Victor Crus Rydberg each had a goal and an assist for Sweden, while Tim Wieser had a two-goal performance for Switzerland.

In the Finland/USA game, Anthony Louis and Sean Malone each had a goal and assist for the United States, with Tyler Kelleher adding the third tally in the win for the United States. Goaltender Thatcher Demko had 19 saves to give the team its first win of the tournament.

Play continued on Wednesday as Sweden was once again victorious, this time in a 3-2 win over Finland. The United States dropped its game against Switzerland 5-4 in a shootout, giving the team its first and only loss in the tournament. Evan Allen, Sean Malone, Michael McCarron and Shane Eiserman all scored in the loss, while goaltender Hunter Miska stopped 17 of 21 shots.

Tyler Kelleher had the lone shootout goal for the U.S. team.

After a day of rest on Thursday, the teams returned to action on Friday. Finland defeated Switzerland by a score of 5-1, while the United States charged to a 5-3 win over Sweden.

Forward Anthony Louis had two goals, with Sean Malone, Tyler Kelleher and Hudson Fasching adding a goal each. Thatcher Demko had 32 saves in the win.

Finally, the teams met again on Saturday for the championship. Sweden and the United States faced off for the tournament title, while Finland and Switzerland played in the consolation game.

Switzerland went on to defeat Finland 5-2, while the United States came out on top, defeating Sweden again – this time by a score of 3-1.

William Altelius Nylander had the lone goal for Sweden, while Evan Allen, John Hayden and Michael McCarron scored for the U.S. Connor Clifton, Will Butcher, Keaton Thompson, Trevor Hamilton and Tyler Kelleher all added assists in the win. Finally, goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 22 of 23 shots faced to earn the victory.

The United States ended the tournament with a 3-1-0 record, while Switzerland and Sweden were both 2-2-0. Finland had a 1-3-0 record.

In addition, the United States team scored 15 goals and had 181 shots on goal in four games. This included five power play goals and one shorthanded goal. Miska and Demko combined allowed just nine goals on 99 shots faced.